How to Draw Tanker Cars in 5 Steps

Draw tanker cars to create a realistic freight train for your railroad scene.
Draw tanker cars to create a realistic freight train for your railroad scene.
Publications International, Ltd.

Tanker cars are part of every freight train, hauling liquid cargo to its destination. Use our easy instructions to draw your own tanker cars.

In this article, we'll show you how to draw the above tanker car. Either draw it freehand while looking at your computer monitor or print out this page to get a closer look at each step.

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­Follow the red lines in each illustration to learn exactly what to draw in that step. The lines drawn in previous steps are shown in gray. Here, we'll show you an illustration of each step and then give you a description of how to draw it.

Are you ready to get started? Head over to the next page for the first step.

1. Draw the Outline of the Body

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­Draw a long, thin rectangle for the base of the tanker car. On top, add a rectangle that is curved on both ends. Sketch two wedges below the base to create the wheel supports.

We'll add the wheels on the next page.

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2. Add the Wheels

Draw four wheels made up of circles within circles. Add a large circle on one side of the tank. Draw a wedge shape at the top of the tank's center.

On the next page, we'll learn how to draw the tank supports.

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3. Add the Tank Supports

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­Sketch two half-circles and a rounded-off rectangle in the circle on the side of the car. Add rectangles for details on the tank's top and side. Draw two thin, vertical rectangles on both ends of the tank to make the supports. Finish them with an arched triangle. Draw a coupling form at each end of the car. These forms look like the end of a wrench. Add a turn wheel at the front of the car.

On the next page, we'll add some detail to the tank.

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4. Draw the Ladder

Draw a curved shape to add dimension to the top structure. Add a long, thin bar that splits the tank in two. Add two curved bars extending up from the tank supports. Sketch a ladder in the center of the car. Finish with two axle structures by the wheels.

We're almost done! Head over to the next page to learn how to add the final touches.

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5. Add the Final Touches

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­Trace the pencil lines you want to keep with a felt-tip pen. Erase any extra lines.

Your tanker car is ready to haul some freight. When coloring your train, try blending different colors together. This will help make your drawing look more realistic.

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Pick up the pace with our next drawing project. In the next article, learn to draw a bullet train.

See all How to Draw articles.